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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

2007 the Best Year Yet For PSP & DS 158

Posted by Hemos
from the good-case-to-be-made dept.
ElFozzie writes "From a handheld perspective, Pocket Gamer has posted a couple of features offering a positive viewpoint on the reasons why both PSP and DS might have a very happy new year. Tellingly, whilst the PSP piece focuses on a range of new potential developments from new peripherals and downloadable video content to price drops and even a new version of the handheld system, the DS article simply highlights 10 top games titles due to hit the streets in the next 12 months. On one level this could be argued as a reflection of the divergent strategies of the two devices and companies, with Sony trying to establish all-singing, all-dancing, all movie-music-and-gaming 'entertainment platforms', whereas Nintendo have focused solidly upon one core area. However a simpler argument would suggest it's merely underlining why Nintendo has raced ahead this year and the lesson Sony are going to have to learn if they are to have any chance of a truly prosperous 2007 — "It's about the games stupid!""
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2007 the Best Year Yet For PSP & DS

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  • Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by popo (107611) on Monday January 01, 2007 @11:46AM (#17422240) Homepage

    The development of MMORPG's for handhelds is going to be simply enormous.

    Just wait until the crack addiction can be taken anywhere...

    IMHO, the company that gets there first (and does it well) could easily win the battle.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday January 01, 2007 @11:51AM (#17422266) Homepage
    On one level this could be argued as a reflection of the divergent strategies of the two devices and companies, with Sony trying to establish all-singing, all-dancing, all movie-music-and-gaming 'entertainment platforms'

    If that's their strategy, it's certainly ironic; Sony's content arm (Columbia, Sony Music, etc) has historically hobbled their hardware divisions like SCEA (playstation, psp, digital walkman) to the greatest extent possible. What they don't seem to understand is that the more they tighten their grip on digital media, the more hardware sales will slip through their fingers...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 01, 2007 @11:59AM (#17422320)
    Sony will never learn that lesson - they tried to tighten their grip on the Sony Beta videotape format only to watch control of that market slip through their fingers. They came out with the first and consistently the best videotape format but kept it proprietary. Guess which format made in the US because of their attempt to keep a tight grip on their format?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 01, 2007 @12:08PM (#17422384)
    It's about getting the worst assclown fanboys with false advertising. Make them recognize your video game console as a status symbol and you won't have to care about quality, price or content anymore.

    Look at the PS3. It looks like a status symbol. Not like something you have fun with.
  • Re:Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Martin Foster (4949) on Monday January 01, 2007 @12:20PM (#17422444) Homepage
    That would probably be popular for a certain segment of the population. However, I would imagine that there are still several people out there who want a handheld gaming system to be able to play short quick games in between intermissions in their lives. Something as demanding as a MMORPG game is not something you can turn on, play for five minutes while the kid takes a nap and close up when (s)he cries.

    There is an entire market of novelty toys that play games like poker, sodoku and so forth. This shows that people want something small, portable and quick to put down in a matter of seconds. Again a game that requires online play, cannot be really saved in a current position (put down, change diaper and take up again) is not really suited for this type of gameplay.

    Besides, to play online you need STABLE hotspots and LOTS of battery power since WiFi will generaly kill your batteries faster (so the PSP may not be a great candidate for this). Hardly what I would call portable with the current connectivity available in a city now.

  • by cowscows (103644) on Monday January 01, 2007 @12:32PM (#17422516) Journal
    Unfortunately for Sony, the homebrew market is not big enough to support a console. In the grand scheme of things, there aren't enough people interested in it, and the very nature of homebrew means that its enthusiasts are going to be buying less PSP games, and games are where the real money is made.

    There's nothing wrong with the PC, do-it-yourself mentality, but it's not why most people buy consoles.
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Monday January 01, 2007 @12:51PM (#17422640)
    If that's their strategy, it's certainly ironic; Sony's content arm (Columbia, Sony Music, etc) has historically hobbled their hardware divisions like SCEA (playstation, psp, digital walkman) to the greatest extent possible. What they don't seem to understand is that the more they tighten their grip on digital media, the more hardware sales will slip through their fingers...

    Tarkin references aside, its worth elaborating on this a little, as it is emblematic of a bigger fight.

    Sony's various content arms have tried like hell to hamstring their electronics divisions over the last few years, ever since 'the gloves came off' as far as the RIAA/MPAA goes - but with what I would call limited success. Sony BMG were able to roll out their rootkit with no input or interference from Sony Electronics for instance.

    But here's the thing - hardware sales dwarf content sales. Absolutely dwarf them, something like 10-to-1. This is not just true of Sony but the entire industry. Hardware simply generates a hell of a lot more money.

    This is why the iPod goes like crazy, and Apple does its placating DRM-lite (although any is bad) on their content, so they can get the juicy hit singles that power iTunes while really making the money off the hardware sales. Its also why Microsoft created the Xbox and Zune.

    But you end up with a crazy situation. As Lessig points out often, the content people swing way above their weight class legislatively, when you take into account the actual money generated. They get the protectionist laws passed that they like. And the hardware guys mostly sit mum, with Intel putting their hand up every so often, offering to be helpful. The content guys know they are fighting for their lives, and need to fight dirty to keep anything like the level of cash flow they are used to. (I choose that word carefully - they fight dirty - there is no other way to put it really). Hardware guys maybe know that they will be around forever, who knows why this is.

    Now, back on topic, as far as Sony Electronics goes, we can see evidence of the backlash in recent products. Keep in mind that 'recent products' is a wide area for a slow-turning behemoth like Sony. But the most recent and prevalent example, the PS3, plays no DRM'd files. Not a one - its all straight down the middle MPEG1/2/4. And it has regular card readers - compact flash, SD etc. Won't play WMA, won't play anything DRM'd at all. And runs foreign code. Contrast that with the PSP which plays open formats but not unsigned code, contrast that with previous Sony products prior to that which have Sony-special hard drives, memory cards, fucking power plugs, everyting. It seems like a trend. Even the phones follow this, they are backing away like crazy even as their co-branded record label and movie studio scream their fool heads off.

    Who knows where it will net out but lets hope that Welsh guy they have for a CEO now has given the electronics guys their balls back. Where they belong, not as cat's-toys for SonyBMG. (Also lets hope they medicate Kutaragi. Yeesh.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 02, 2007 @10:59AM (#17431522)
    I hope they don't add another joystick. Namely because the one that's there now SUCKS. I'm okay with the whole "nub" thing - that doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that the control input readings aren't anywhere close to smooth. Go into the XMB, start the web browser, and try slowly winding the nub in a circle. Watch as your cursor moves in something approximating a trapezoid. Now, try to do it without touching the edges (IE - use the nub like you were trying to walk instead of run). You can't, because it's way too insensitive.

    Sony needs to overhaul it before cloning it.
  • by PhoenixOne (674466) on Tuesday January 02, 2007 @12:57PM (#17432622)
    I can't see many people playing WoW on a small little handheld device like the DS or PSP (that's why we have laptops ;)). But I can see Puzzle Pirates being a big hit on the DS. If you reduced the interface a bit, even Spore might make a great handheld MMO.

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